Ever feel like as a Christian you are letting God down? When your thoughts are consumed with the burdens you bear. You make a valiant effort to spend time with God in prayer and His word. Yet, the weight of the burdens persist. Somedays you are able to believe God. Somedays, not so much. Especially as the burdens bear down upon you and new ones are added. You don’t doubt God as much as you doubt yourself. For you know God’s word is true and powerful. It’s just that the power to tap into those truths keeps evading you.
It’s in times like these that we must recognize the fiery darts of the enemy. Here’s what happens when our thoughts are consumed with our problems. The more we focus on our problems, the more pity we feel towards ourselves. Negative focus=fiery darts. Hope begins to drain. No solutions come forth from such a focus.
But there IS a solution.
It’s not so hard. But it takes deliberate effort. The temptation to dwell on our problems is strong. It’s our default reaction. However, as Christians the power of the Holy Spirit is stronger. When you are strong in God’s word and prayer, then Satan must use another tactic. When he won’t succeed at causing us to doubt God, he will cause us to doubt ourselves. It’s nothing but a ploy of the enemy. Here’s how we counter his attack:
Make a list of all the reasons you have to praise God. Especially, concerning your problems. Yes, even in the midst of your problems, there are reasons to praise God.
Next time you find yourself drowning in the negativity of your problems, pull out your lists. Allow praise thoughts to saturate your thinking. In all likelihood your problems will remain. But your perspective toward them will have changed. Now they will not overwhelm you.
Some benefits of praise?
Praising God (even in the midst of your problems) empowers you to rise above those problems. Because you are focusing on God not on yourself.
Praise shapes your perspective. Preventing the enemy from draining hope from your thoughts.
Praise provides you with the means to escape the darkness when in moments of weakness, you revert to your default of centering your focus on your problems. (We are human, after all)
Praise builds your confidence in God and His Word. (A sure way to stand against the enemy.)
Obviously, the significance of Thanksgiving is that it is a time to pause and contemplate all the things we have to be thankful for.
Some broad categories for which I am thankful are Faith, Family, Friends, and Country, just like many of you, I imagine. But in this post, I will zero in on a significant aspect within the category of Faith whose impact carried over into Family, Friends, and Country.
It was about 9 years ago, when God first introduced me to the concept of fiery darts. That instruction opened my understanding of how I had been victimized by my own thoughts. Negative thoughts or what I eventually began to see as fiery darts. I shudder to think the course my life would have taken, had I not been awakened to the destructive force of fiery dart thinking.
As my training proceeded, I began learning how I had been deceived by my old nature (my thoughts and attitudes prior to my becoming a Christian), and the world’s concept of truth (a truth void of God’s Truth). I discovered that the world’s concepts of truth held more sway over my thinking than God’s concept of Truth.
That deception was advanced by my lack of spending time with God in His word. Notice, I didn’t mention that I did not spend time with God in prayer! Because I spent a lot of time praying. But you know what that amounted to? I spent a lot more time talking to God rather than listening to Him. For we hear God’s voice when we read the Bible.
When my talking to God and my listening to God got in balance, then and only then, did I find my way out of the bondage I had placed myself in with fiery dart thinking.
This balance impacted how I dealt with problems within the context of family and friend relationships. It encouraged me to take those problems to God. Faithfully He would lead me to a particular scripture or scriptures that would shed light on how I should respond.
There hasn’t been an area in my life that this balance hasn’t impacted. For example, instead of despairing over the negativity of our recent political climate, God reminds me of 2 Chronicles 7:14. My prayers for my country are worded according to God’s Word, not my despair.
When disaster strikes our nation, I’m reminded of verses such as John 16:33. My prayers are worded with the hope found there, not my fears.
Knowing how to counterattack the temptation to think negatively about our problems, presents us with a perspective that will identify solutions.
My expressions of thankfulness this holiday will be centered on the gratefulness I feel towards God for opening my understanding to what fiery darts are and how to defeat them. For that knowledge has enhanced the gratefulness I feel towards